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Dark vision of drug use and its effect on American youth.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Marshall (Mel)
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Substance abuse: Drugs; Youth culture; Social issues: 1960s
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Holly Daggers -
Subject: Only "Squares" get hooked...
What a gem! Everything you want from an anti-drug film! A Square is seduced into a world of drugs by sinister pushers eager to lead him by the nose from "bennies" to pot to heroin. Instead of any dialog, a narrator reads a non-stop stream of hilariously dated jargon. The first part is laugh-out-loud funny! Part 2 is predictably maudlin as the square goes through DTs and loses all respectability. 5 STARS! This is what Prellinger Archive is about!
Subject: Wonder how many watched this high.
LOL..what a great movie to watch when getting a buzz...lol. You would be suprised to know just how many people really think this stuff is true. I am a recovering Oxycontin addict. I have been clean for almost 3 years with the help of methadone..a wonder drug for me. While I would never encourage drug use,I think people should really hear the truth about drugs. Education,treatment and understanding are the only ways to win the war on drugs. Jailing non-violent dealers and addicts does nothing but overcrowd our correctional system and put violent criminals back on the street to make room for people who need help not imprisonment. The so-called war on drugs is one of the biggest government goof ups of the past 50 years. We keep trying the same ole method of jailing non-violent addicts. ETU..education,treatment and understanding are the only ways to get a handle on the rising drug epidemic.
Subject: PIT OF DESPAIR
Saw this wonderful film in Jr high school, I love how all these films from the 50's and 60's were all so heavy handed.This Film is a classic film in the drug scare propaganda genre. Download it!! and don't forget to get part 2 as well.
Subject: this is not good, its GREAT !
never seen such a wacky movie! the movie itself strongly follows the stepping stone theory (wich is sooooo out of date) of course, heroin is bad and you must never use it. its poison! better smoke a doob or two:-)
i watched it on a saturday evening with some friends and we laughed our pants off.
john uses barbiturates to "pep him up": how ironic.
the first time when we meet pete, the zoom-in is fantastic and well, quite trippy.
the party scene is "swinging" "shake this square world and blast of for kicksville!" HELL YEAH!
"due to the effects of the late hours and the alcohol, john was too sick to study" (after the pot smoking scene) They don't mention the fact that he smoked pot!
also: the music in this film absolutely rules!
i find this the "reefer madness" fim-type of the sixties, really i thought those narc guys knew the difference between stimulating drugs (amfetamines) and barbiturates !-) also, pete's haircut is too ridiculous for words ... looks like lincoln or something .
J. DeKay -
Subject: Not necessarily stoned... but beautiful.
"C'mon man get with it! Drag it man, try anything once. Fly. You can't get a habit with weed." Whoever wrote this dialogue in 1967 must have thought that it was chock full of "hip" drug euphemisms. Also,the 'Abe Lincoln' style beard on the drug pusher is a red flag that he is a malcontent. Sorry, but that type of beard only works for Abraham Lincoln and the Amish. Unfortunately, this is the type of anti-drug film I remember seeing in junior high in the early 70's that made me curious to want to try pot. No doubt Jimi Hendrix would have wet his pants laughing at this gem.
Subject: Before ringers lactate there was bennies and heroin
Interesting film with Kevin Tighe from the 1970's Emergency show starring as a person who spirals quickly down in various drug addictions. "Only squares get hooked" the narrator tells us in this voiced over film. This film depicts the character Hank (with narration) in a course of shooting smack -101. The party's over when the the swinger Helen is jonesing in police custody
Subject: Retro Report
Shake this dull world and blast off for kicksville!! Cmon man, get with it and smoke that reefer. Grab a spike and shoot it up. This movie features one of the most generous drug dealers known to man. Hank, a junkie character spends $100 a day on smack, keep in mind this is back in 1967. Thats one hell of a voracious appetite! 5 stars indeed.
Subject: Tragic Animals
Having only previously seen Kevin Tighe in John Sayles's *Matewan* and *City of Hope*, I was rather amazed to see him as a young man, although not as young as this film would have you believe.
There are some interesting animal motifs, from the opening shot of the cobra representing, one must suppose, drug addiction. Furtive and beady-eyed, the pot smokers are depicted as ratlike vermin that dwell in garages. On the other hand, partygoers presumably high on something twitch and gyrate in a decidedly simian fashion. The pusher's goat-like semblance, however signifies more sinister designs.
Typical of the "don't let this happen to you" film, it unleashes as many punishments upon the damned as possible, as redemption is not an option. Also typically symbolic of spirit having fallen fully back into nature, the protagonist is inexorably fated to a disruption of his basic survival instincts while at the same time fully enslaved within them. However fateful tragedy and morality-play cannot be reconciled: hope for those in the midst of addiction is cast off in favor of intensifying the threat to those merely on the brink.
While we don't know how unintentionally funny the actual dialogue in the film might have been, the stiff, authoritative voiceover narration is downright hilarious. Hearing "...and blast off to Kicksville" and "...riding the toboggan to Hell" spill out of his mouth is painfully absurd and side-splitting at the same time.
drugs are bad -
this movie changed my life, not only does it shows the negative effects of "bennies", it also describes in detail how one does heroin. thank god b/c now all those would-be addicts can see how it's really done and not risk messing up the first time. all in all this is a damned awesome movie, and oh-so true to life. i know stuff like this happens to me all the time. watch it or u'll never know the exact procedure for injecting heroin and that, my friends, who be a travesty to say the least. ;-)
Subject: Shake this square world and blast off for Kicksville!
Watching this film and realizing Kevin Tighe (Emergency!) just makes it that much more fun. Let's see, the movie was made in 1967. Tighe was born in 1944, making him one of the most oldest high school students in recent memory. Anyways, he's suffering in school, so what is a hick kid to do? He turns to drugs. First pills, then pot, then heroin. It's pretty amazing how much of an immediate dowspiral he takes. One moment he's trying heroin for the first time, the next moment he's selling his mom's silverware. Luckily an addict was caught, and, realizing she couldnt get any more heroin, rats on everyone and everybody! The ending is similar to 'Drug Addiction'. I thought this film was great! Highly reccomended!
Kevin Tighe was one of the stars of Emergency in the '70s. His wooden performances in that series are no match for his uptight teen loser character from Pit of Despair.
One joint and you're hooked? Shit, the first time I smoked I didn't even get high!
Judging from the scenes of this losers life he needs drugs!
Subject: Reefer Madness with needles
This is a great propaganda film with the guy from Adam West (I think). I actually used the footage for a friends music video (never released) called "Addiction" (http://www.digitalknox.com/addicted.mpg)
I'm amazed at some of the footage (espeically the herion scenes where it would seem they really did inject themselves with some type of fluid. I can't imagine they had any type of special effects back then.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Narcotics: Pit of Despair (Full Film)
This film is a classic of the drug-induced tragedy genre. It features John, an incredibly dorky teenager who is having trouble in school and seems to have no parental involvement in his life, though he does have a spiffy sports car and a pretty girlfriend. A drug pusher named Pete (he's the only guy in the movie with a beard, so you know he must be evil) spends most of the film getting his hooks into John, turning him from a dorky teen with a few normal teenage problems to a junkie with a police record. As if that wasn't enough, a narrator that's about as sympathetic as the one in Habit Patterns hounds him relentlessly, regaling the audience with every detail of his downhill slide. He ends up in jail and then in rehab, but even that isn't enough to redeem him in the eyes of the filmmakersÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂafter he gets out of rehab, he decides to drop in on his old buddy Pete just one more time, and the ending title card tells us "There Is No End." This film tries so hard to convince us that drug addiction could happen to anybody. Nevertheless, John is so incredibly stiff and square that he makes a most unconvincing junkie. Watching him try to dance at his first pot party is a real hoot. And I wonder why the filmmakers thought it necessary to include detailed directions for shooting up herion in the film. If you like anti-drug films, this one is a definite must-see.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Mental Hygiene.